In 1985, AMA Analytical Services, Inc. was established as the laboratory division of Aerosol Monitoring & Analysis, Inc., a recognized environmental consulting firm established in 1981. AMA initially started performing optical microscopic analysis of bulk and airborne asbestos. AMA was one of the first companies in the United States to recognize the value of electron microscopy for the accurate identification of asbestos fibers. Consequently, in 1985 AMA added two transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) at the Washington, DC laboratory. AMA’s business continued to grow as a result of our continued commitment to superior quality and service. In 1988, AMA was incorporated as an independent analytical laboratory, separating it from Aerosol Monitoring and Analysis.
In response to our asbestos clients’ need for lead analysis, our lead lab was added in 1996. Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy instrumentation was added for analysis of lead in paint chips, dust wipes, air, soil, drinking water, and waste water. We also added the capability to perform TCLP analysis for lead. In recent years, we have added additional metals to our repertoire of analyses.
In 2005, AMA again expanded our analytical capabilities and opened a microbial laboratory for the direct microscopic analysis of mold spores. In the Fall of 2008, we began offering a full range of microbial analyses, including culturable analysis.
At AMA, highly qualified microscopists possessing a college degree and/or prior analytical experience analyze all samples. AMA analysts are trained and experienced in the special care required in the handling, extraction and analysis of environmental samples. In addition, all AMA asbestos and mold analysts attend outside optical and electron microscopy courses for training. Our analysts attend continuing education courses and other seminars in order to remain technically versed with today’s changing environmental methods and regulations.
Accreditation and Certification
AMA Analytical Services, Inc., is proud of its laboratory accreditation status. AMA is accredited by NIST/NVLAP (101143-0) for both bulk analysis by PLM and airborne asbestos by TEM, and is accredited by AIHA-LAP for PCM analysis of fibers in air by NIOSH Method 7400. The New York State ELAP program also accredits us for asbestos analysis by PLM, TEM and PCM, including the analysis of non-friable, organically bound (NOB) bulk samples by TEM. We are also licensed by many state and municipality agencies.
Our laboratory has had several on-site inspections by various accrediting agencies and has received comments that we have “one of the best designed quality systems” in over 150 asbestos laboratories across the country.
The NIST/NVLAP Bulk Accreditation Program was established in 1988 with the first laboratory accreditations issued on April 1, 1989. AMA is proud that we were one of the few laboratories in the country to receive its accreditation on April 1, 1989. Prior to the NIST/NVLAP bulk program, AMA participated in the “old” EPA bulk QA program, which was in place from 1983. When NIST/NVLAP initiated its program for TEM analysis of air samples in 1990, AMA also received its accreditation on the first date available of July 1, 1990.
AMA has been accredited by AIHA-LAP for asbestos fiber analysis by PCM since 1985 and has participated in the NIOSH PAT programs since 1981. The State of New York Department of Health has its own laboratory accreditation program (ELAP) including laboratory site visits and PAT samples. In order to analyze samples collected in the state of New York, the laboratory must be a New York State ELAP accredited laboratory. AMA is accredited by NY ELAP for all types of asbestos analyses in New York State. These accreditations include asbestos analysis of air samples by PCM and TEM, friable and non-friable bulk samples by PLM and TEM, and water samples by TEM.
AMA has been accredited by AIHA-LAP for lead analysis of wipes, soil, paint and air through the NLLAP program. AMA is also NY ELAP accredited for lead analysis of dust and paint chips. Additionally, AMA is approved for analysis of lead in drinking (potable) water for Maryland, Virginia, New York, and states with reciprocity programs with MD, VA, and NY.
We are currently accredited by AIHA-LAP in the EMLAP program for all the direct microscopy matrices that they offer.